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organically managed parks
in durango

Organic Parks Durango is a movement that started with one park.  Brookside Park was established as a "Chemical-Free" Park in 2008.

Through a  collaboration with Turtle Lake Refuge and the City of Durango's Parks and Recreation Department, Brookside Park was designated as the first city park to be managed without the use of chemical fertilizers and herbicides.  

Turtle Lake Refuge and a Fort Lewis College Environmental Justice class applied compost tea to the grass in 2008 and 2009 and thereafter the city continued to manage it with organic fertilizers.

Pioneer Park become established as "Chemical-free" in 2010


Through continued effort and encouragement, the City of Durango deemed Pioneer Park as its second public park to be managed without the use of chemicals.  Turtle Lake Refuge volunteer efforts in hosting "weed" harvesting gatherings.

Organically managed parks are important to the health of our natural ecosystem and human community. The chemicals used can be detrimental to the health of our pollinating insects, birds and bats. Children and animals can also experience susceptibility to effects from the chemicals applied. Chemical fertilizers can create an inhospitable environment to the microorganisms in the soil including earthworms. The phosphates from the fertilizers can run off into our waterways and risk polluting our rivers.


Our goal in Durango, is to support the ongoing success of organically managed parks throughout the entire city, ideally including the public parks and open spaces.  Durango’s Organic Parks program is an example of maintaining functional and beautiful city parks that are also healthy for the environment and our community while saving money at the same time. Organically managed parks provide public places where individuals and families can play safely in the grass without potential risks from the chemical residues. They create safe environments for our pollinators such as the honey bees and wild insects, birds and bats. One key element of the success of organic parks is to increase the amount and diversity of microbiology life forces in the soil.  This is an important factor in saving fertilizer costs in the long run.​


organically managed parks in durango include:

  • Brookside Park -2301 Main Aveneu

  • Fanto Park- 445 East 7th Avenue

  • Folsom Park -11 Folsom Place

  • Needham Elementary Park - 2455 West 3rd Street

  • Pioneer Park - 261 East 37th Street

  • Riverfront/Iris Park - 1235 Camino del Rio

  • Schneider Park - 950/1300 Roosa Avenue

in 2013 the city unanimously passed the organic lands resolution and currently more than 1/3 of all the parks in durango are managed organically, including 20 acres of parks land and 8 parks.

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